Anathema on the Da Vinci Code! On The Course in Miracles! On Oprah and Chopra and Marianne Williamson! In this Great Work I bow to the one who has traversed these shadowed paths and mysteries far longer and deeper than I ever will (gods willing) if I live another thousand years. I bow to the superior wisdom of the True Magus...
Then Bramanti said: "Brothers, we are gathered here in the name of the One Order, the Unknown Order, to which Order, until yesterday, you did not know that you belonged, and yet you have always belonged to it! Let us swear. Anathema on all profaners of the Secret. Anathema on all sycophants of the occult. Anathema on all those who have made a spectacle of the Rites and Mysteries!"
"Anathema on the Invisible College, on the bastard children of Hiram and the Widow, on the operative and speculative masters of the lie of the Orient and the Occident, Ancient, Accepted, or Revised, on Mizraim and Memphis, on the Philalethes and the Nine Sisters, on the Strict Observance and on the Ordo Templi Orientis, on the Illuminati of Bavaria and of Avignon, on the Elus Cohen, on the Perfect Friendship, on the Knights of the Black Eagle and of the Holy City, on the Rosicrucians of Anglia, on the cabalists of the Rose + Cross of Gold, on the Catholic Rosy Cross of the Temple and of the Grail, on the Stella Matutina, on the Astrum Argentinum and Thelema, on Vril and Thule, on every ancient and mystical usurper of the name of the Great White Fraternity, on the Guardians of the Temple, on every college and priory of Zion and of Gaul!"
"Whoever out of ingenuity, submission, conversion, calculation, or bad faith has been initiated into any lodge, college, priory, chapter, or order that illicitly refers to obedience to the Unknown Superiors or to the Masters of the World, must this night abjure that initiation and implore total restoration in spirit and body to the one and true observance, the Tres, Templi Resurgentes Equites Synarchici, the triune and and trinosophic mystical and most secret order of the Synarchic Knights of Templar Rebirth!"
"Sub umbra alarum tuarum!"
"Now enter the dignitaries of the thirty-six highest and most secret degrees."
As Bramanti called the elect, they appeared in liturgical vestments, wearing the insigne of the Golden Fleece on their chest...
Umberto, I love you. Even though I only spoke to you that one time from the CMU Robotics Institute by accidentally calling your fax machine on their dime using the number my sister gave me (who knows where she got it), but you didn't know who was calling. "Hello? Hello?" you said. However, I love you nonetheless. With these words of deep learning and craft, once again you have restored my sense of balance (and humor), thus rescuing me -- I have no doubt of this whatsoever -- from a terrible and devastating madness.
for the chapter: The Usual Suspects
The Teacher brought the new Student to the Principal. She inquired, "At which level should he start?"
The Principal examined the Student for a few moments and then asked, "Why did you come to this school?"
The Student replied, "To learn the art of happiness."
The Principal turned to the Teacher and said, "Level 1." He smiled, looking at the Student.
"...it is here that the story touches on the strange history of Rennes-le-Chateau. Henry Lincoln has argued that the order of the Priory of Sion, which was founded at the end of the first Crusade by Hugh de Payen and his knights, actually dates back many centuries through the dynasty known as the Merovingians..."
Did the invention of interchangeable parts, a prerequisite of the Industrial Revolution, influence the Zeitgeist of the mid-19th century and how it tried to grapple with Darwin's notion of fitness?
What Darwin meant by "survival of the fittest" was that the probability of an organism's evolutionary advance was greatly increased if it found an environmental opportunity it could exploit to advantage. Although the concept of ecological niches is fairly commonplace today, it was a difficult idea to grasp in 1859 when The Origin of Species was first published. Far more familiar, even at the dawn of early industrialism, was the idea of parts that "fit" their intended application. Evolutionary "fitness" thus came to be seen as a match against a preexisting norm or ideal -- an archetype, one might almost say. As a result of this Social Darwinism, eugenics came to be widely adopted as a response to a felt need for "race improvement" toward such an ideal type of human being. Those falling short of these metrics of worth, or unworthiness to live, were not only dispensable, but a positive danger to (read here: Anglo-Saxon) society. Is a picture beginning to emerge?
...there is one passage in her diary which has caused considerable consternation and which is not remotely ironic. On January 9, 1915 Woolf and her husband went for a stroll by the River Thames between Richmond and Kingston:
On the towpath we met & had to pass a long line of imbeciles. The first was a very tall young man, just queer enough to look at twice, but no more; the second shuffled, & looked aside; & then one realised that every one in that long line was a miserable ineffective shuffling idiotic creature, with no forehead , or no chin, & an imbecile grin, or a wild suspicious stare. It was perfectly horrible. They should certainly be killed.
Modernism and Eugenics: Woolf, Eliot, Yeats, and the Culture of Degeneration goes into much greater depth on these issues. That art and literature in the era of modernism was deeply bound up with eugenics -- and the eugenic "solutions" it led to -- seems to be well known in certain quarters of the academy, and largely unknown elsewhere. As the academy is where the problem largely began, there's an outside chance these ideas might be worthy of more than passing intellectual curiosity. Call it a wild hunch.
Computers are becoming more powerful at an ever-increasing rate, but will they ever become conscious? Artificial intelligence guru Ray Kurzweil thinks so and explains how we will "download" our software (our minds) and "upgrade" our hardware (our bodies) to become immortal -- before the dawn of the 22nd century.
Juxtaposed below against this purported 21st century "science" are some of the superstitions it was supposed to save us from, and conversely, which hope to save us from the retrograde views of Western Science (not to be confused with chili cook-offs and bull roping). The following are the subcategories Amazon lists in its New Age section. Before we can talk about the NewAge++ superset, we need at least some vague (and they are) conceptual boundaries around the plain old garden variety New Age.
There's something more than a little fishy going on here. All this incorrigible blather is pandering to the wildest hopes and darkest fears of a people running on empty, running scared. But ah well, you know what they say. Markets are conversations...
The following are a few of the core resources that have been helpful in sorting out how all this spooky bamboozlement got going in the first place, and how it has played out into the 20th century. You can search inside both at Amazon by clicking the images.